Research Question 4: Significant Challenges

What do you see as the main challenges academic and research libraries will face over the next five years -- especially those impeding technology adoption?

INSTRUCTIONS: Enter your responses to the questions below. This is most easily done by moving your cursor to the end of the last item and pressing RETURN to create a new bullet point. Please include URLs whenever you can (full URLs will automatically be turned into hyperlinks; please type them out rather than using the linking tools in the toolbar).

NOTE: The Significant Challenges are sorted into three difficulty related categories based on their appearance in previous Horizon Report editions -- solvable challenges are those that we both understand and know how to solve, but seemingly lack the will; difficult challenges are ones that are more or less well-understood but for which solutions remain elusive; wicked challenges, the most difficult, are complex to even define, and thus require additional data and insights before solutions will even be possible. In your responses to the trends below, feel free to explore why or why not the challenge should be in its specific category.

As you review what others have written, please add your thoughts and comments as well.

Please "sign" each of your contributions by marking with the code of 4 tildes (~) in a row so that we can follow up with you if we need additional information or leads to examples- this produces a signature when the page is updated, like this: - Sam Sam Oct 4, 2016


IMPORTANT: Compose your entries like this:

Challenge Name
Add your ideas here, with few complete sentences of description including full URLs for references (e.g. http://horizon.nmc.org). And do not forget to sign your contribution with 4 ~ (tilde) characters!


Adapting Organizational Designs to the Future of Work
What forms of organisational design are needed to address the future of work in the library sector. Inspiration from other sectors see e.g. https://www.thinkdif.co/open-mic/co-creation-the-design-of-collaborative-intelligence-in-self-directed-teams-and-networks
  • Nearly ever issue facing academic libraries requires expertise drawn from across traditional sectors (e.g., research data curation requires domain expertise, curation expertise, technologists, metadata experts). Libraries struggle with organizational structures with increasing evidence of more "matrix-y" structures and expectation of working with agility across structures. Ithaka report Ithaka S+R report - wlougee wlougee Nov 4, 2016
  • - liusq liusq Nov 13, 2016Organizational designs are the basis of all innovation work, but it hard to change traditional structures, therefore ,this is a difficult challenge.

Addressing Societal Challenges
There are many initiatives of (especially public) libraries adressing societal challenges. E.g. http://www.eblida.org/special-event.html The related challenge is to find suitable formats for societal commitment and impact. A good example from another sector is the http://thedoschool.org/ There is a need of creative staff and funds to implement similar initiatives / formats in libraries. - franziska.regner franziska.regner Nov 2, 2016 - rudolf.mumenthaler rudolf.mumenthaler Nov 13, 2016- bells bells Nov 14, 2016

Advocacy for Libraries
In times when libraries are under pressure and have to prove their legitimation it is important that politics and society are aware of the meaning and role of libraries for the community. It is a challenge for libraries that they can not tackle on their own. They have to cooperate and talk with one voice. There are already some good examples (as the office of advocacy for libraries at ALA). - rudolf.mumenthaler rudolf.mumenthaler Oct 10, 2016

Bolstering Local Participation
Library professionals have similar responsibilities as museum professionals in working with other individuals and organizations to grow their resources. As a response to this challenge, several universities and cultural centers, such as Wake Forest University and North Carolina Digital Heritage Center, are frequently contributing digital collections to the Digital Public Library of America. These kinds of partnerships require major considerations for the development of effective technical and social frameworks, especially with the amount of data associated with the sharing of each article, book, or other resource.
  • DPLA and other strategies of aggregated investment have not adequately addressed thematic discovery. These services underscore the limited and superficial description that has often occurred, especially in archival collections. - wlougee wlougee Nov 4, 2016
  • It is a solvable challenge which needs coordination and support. An example is the Network Digital Heritage int the Netherlands where organisations from heritage, libraries, archives and research work together to make their digital heritage more visible, usable and sustainable. The strategy is to put the user central and work towards an overarching architecture. http://www.den.nl/art/uploads/files/Publicaties/20150608_Nationale_strategie_digitaal_erfgoed_Engels.pdf - Laurents.Sesink Laurents.Sesink Nov 13, 2016

Capturing and Archiving the Digital Outputs of Research as Collection Material
One of the essential purposes of academic and research libraries has been to collect the outputs of academic research. Traditionally this has consisted of collecting textual, audio, video, and image-based outputs. With the introduction of new digitally-generated materials and processes, research outputs are growing in variety and types of format. It is important for these new digital data sets to be preserved alongside the research derived from them for future use and in longitudinal studies, but this presents a perpetual challenge for library acquisition and archiving practices as formats continue to evolve. The shift to new materials and processes has not only affected how material is captured and archived, but also how it is accessed and retrieved by other researchers and the general public. Compounding the challenge is that some large funders are requiring researchers to increase transparency and to develop research data management plans as a prerequisite to receiving funding.
  • This is a solvable challenge, but the tools and techniques are still remote from many institutions. - mheller1 mheller1 Nov 10, 2016 - g.payne g.payne Nov 10, 2016 - vacekrae vacekrae Nov 13, 2016- bells bells Nov 14, 2016
  • Not just the data sets and the research, but more and more we are seeing the requirement to preserve the methods by which the data sets were created, i.e. the software and the functions used.- anthony.helm anthony.helm Nov 14, 2016

Competition from Alternative Avenues of Discovery
Before the rise of the Internet, libraries were widely perceived as the ultimate gateways to knowledge. They served as central locations to discover new information, compile research, and consult with librarians to find the most helpful resources. In the past two decades, as the Internet has expanded, so has the array of academic content made easily accessible to people. This shift has not only impacted how people research, but also where they do it. Performing a simple web search on a topic, for example, conjures countless pages of relevant articles, reports, and media, and today’s users have grown accustomed to the ease of single-search tools, many of which are adapting to mobile responsive platforms. Furthermore, advancements in the semantic web are refining research results and enabling data to be shared across applications. Emerging Internet technologies are fostering changes in patron behavior, challenging libraries to either adapt to the new expectations defined by current discovery practices or risk becoming obsolete over time.
  • This is for sure a still important topic, and it became even more relevant by the emerging of Sci-hub. There are patrons that use this illegal platform rather than the legal way via their library - even for content that would be available in the library, because it's easier. Libraries have to integrate content from many different relevant sources in different formats (articles, books, research data, images and so on) and they should give direct and immediate access like the platform Sci-hub. In reality there are many obstacles for the user, even more if libraries use different platforms with different ways to give access (for example if they refer to an aggregator for PDA that uses a DRM). That's confusing. - rudolf.mumenthaler rudolf.mumenthaler Oct 10, 2016 Agreed on Sci-Hub. - bryan.alexander bryan.alexander Oct 17, 2016 Also agreed that the emergence of Sci-Hub points to a vexing challenge we have as institutions beholden to the notion of respecting copyright and business models. How do we compete? - askeyd askeyd Nov 11, 2016
  • Utilising alternative discovery mechanisms provides an opportunity to apply resources to assist our clients to better organise and publish the information they gather and produce in the course of their research, ensuring it becomes accessible through the discovery mechanisms beyond those managed by the Library. - g.payne g.payne Nov 10, 2016
  • It will be increasingly important for libraries to address the User Experience (UX) to ensure that it is easier to use legitimate sites and library subscriptions than the alternatives. This has implications for the design of apps and websites as well as single sign-on for clients. It is too easy to structure these tools from a library perspective when the most important perspective is the users'. Working with vendors is also important in this endeavour as low use of apps or eresources is likely to lead to cancelled subscriptions as budgets tighten - it is in everyone's interest to get this right.- mylee.joseph mylee.joseph Nov 10, 2016
  • We can certainly work to improve the UX of our own discovery systems, but we also need to continue and improve on efforts to improve the discovery of library resources in non-library discovery tools, be it search engines, wikipedia entries, image searches, etc. We have great content but unless you go to the library website it's not likely the searcher will connect to the content. In this LJ editorial John Berry remarked that the library is not a business and that it does not compete in a marketplace. But if we want to our content and staff to be discovered when community members have many options for finding information, we may need to think and act as though we are in a competition - as this entry suggests we are. It will be a difficult problem where we don't have clear solutions ahead. - bells bells Nov 12, 2016
    http://lj.libraryjournal.com/2016/10/opinion/john-berry/we-are-not-a-business-using-the-library-benefits-everyone-blatant-berry/
  • I agree with the above statements on UX. Lorcan Dempsey has said for years now that we need to make our entire library more discoverable - http://orweblog.oclc.org/full-library-discovery/ - services, people/expertise, and collections. But users are expecting to find more than just the library, and bringing in reliable non-library resources can be just as important, as integrating multiple discovery systems. - vacekrae vacekrae Nov 13, 2016
  • - liusq liusq Nov 13, 2016This is a difficult challenge. More and more users leave libraries for other convenient platform or services.
  • Maybe more collaboration then competition. Make relevant information visible in portals where users are searching for information. - Laurents.Sesink Laurents.Sesink Nov 13, 2016

Economic and Political Pressures
  • Similar to the Challenges discussed for the Higher Education 2017 Horizon Report http://horizon.wiki.nmc.org/Challenges Libraries are also directly affected by economic and political pressures. {edited below from that discussion}
  • Economic pressure - Flat or declining enrolments, increasing costs and decreasing government support for public institutions are going to be the Number 1 driver for technology adoption in teaching, learning and research – and therefore Libraries. Anything that uses technology as a lever to reduce the cost of delivering a service in an academic and research library will be a priority. It should be recognized that technology adoption creates various other costs. Student-centered and technology enabled learning may be seen as just as costly as more traditional methods. Opportunities such as Open Education will be a focus and academic libraries can position themselves at the centre and the forefront of these cost-effective delivery initiatives for their universities.
  • Hand-in-hand with the economic pressure is the incredibly real challenge to hire librarians and library staff who bring with them the ability to operate in a digital library landscape. Programmers, in particular, but technically skilled people in general, are hard to find and harder still to coax into non-profit businesses. Moreover, economic pressures have led to reductions in many of the benefits (tuition benefits, access to athletic facilities, professional development, etc.) that often could be an enticement to join the higher ed ranks. - anthony.helm anthony.helm Nov 14, 2016
  • Political environment - As governments are increasingly (in the US, UK and Australia at least) unable to fund higher education at the levels they did 20 or more years ago, and as obtaining a college education is now widely perceived to be the new required minimum level of education by many, large increases in enrolment have conspired with funding reductions and increased health care costs to dramatically drive up the cost of higher education. As academic libraries are usually a ‘cost’ centre rather than a ‘revenue generating’ centre within a university, they are often targeted for funding cuts. The cost of delivering higher education services are increasing and this combined with the rise of the large, online degree-providing private institutions has caused (rightly or wrongly) governmental scrutiny to be focused on education. There are relationships between digital learning innovation and political pressure in many cases. The pressure to implement digital learning innovations seems to be increasing, along with generally decreasing funding. This is an environmental factor that cannot be overlooked. - SueH SueH Nov 2, 2016 - mylee.joseph mylee.joseph Nov 8, 2016
  • Totally agree on economic and political challenges. In terms of impact on technology and libraries this is manifesting itself in many ways. For example, we are witnessing the merging and wider adoption of all elements of an entire system (enterprise-wide), rather than having the best of breed multiple systems. These are cheaper to purchase and maintain, often hosted in the cloud. The adoption of current research information systems is a good example of this. Libraries do not always have an opportunity to have a key role in the selection of such systems - advocacy, influence and relationships are key to ensuring technology continues to meet requirements. Opportunities for libraries to play a broader and very significant role (due to experience and expertise) in the implementation and ongoing management of these systems is significant. Another, somewhat related impact on technology is the centralisation of IT within universities and the reduction of dedicated Library IT staff. - Jill.benn Jill.benn Nov 6, 2016 Also these enterprise level solutions can offer tremendous opportunities for libraries, and libraries should clearly represented during the consideration stages to examine methods to integrate or leverage the technology effectively into library services/functions. - tchaffin tchaffin Nov 11, 2016
  • The recent and seismic US election points to a new wave of stresses. They might include privatization, increased government surveillance, budget cuts, expanded missions without support, etc. - bryan.alexander bryan.alexander Nov 10, 2016 - SueH SueH Nov 10, 2016- vacekrae vacekrae Nov 13, 2016
  • More on the Political, Social and Economic Context (and worldview) - One thing I find puzzling (and occasionally alarming) in much of this research and speculation is the positioning of technological progress as this inevitable, value-neutral force of nature that is sweeping in and changing us in ways we can barely influence, rather than a set of interesting and useful tools that we can potentially do useful and fun things with. And so libraries and universities are kept scurrying, trying to get out in front of the tsunami-trend that's going to be the one thing that either transforms everything we do or puts us out of work permanently. (And if it's not this trend then the next one... or the next one... or the next one...)
  • It came out most clearly in those bizarre articles on the Developments in Technology page - Universities are Uber! Uber is the future and we need to follow this plan of corporatization and jettison all that fluffy educational critical-thinking nonsense (because casual workforces are inevitable so let's make it happen as quickly as possible!) Or no, in the next article - Universities are sad middle-market restaurants like the Olive Garden! And hiring managers don't like the menu! And we need to do this (and jettison that...)
  • Who benefits, if we're kept continually in a state of anxiety and uncertainty, convinced of the need for ever more radical rapid change? Why are we convinced that all these social changes are inevitable, a mere byproduct of technology that demands in its unthinking way that tenured faculty be replaced by casual labor, that steady well-remunerated work is a thing of the past and our students need to be trained to cope (and above all accept without protest)? Do we really believe that all these changes are technological in nature and not social and political choices being forced on us in the name of technological progress?
  • Higher education institutions in general (and libraries in particular) need to cast a particularly jaundiced eye over all the projections that are coming out in reports like this one. We need all those skills we teach our students (or did once...) of critical thinking, of looking at who benefits and what political agenda is being pushed, of reflectivity and slowing down and thinking of what society we want to be a part of. Many of these technological threats don't actually happen as predicted. (At one point a certain library administrator was claiming we'd all be answering library queries in Second Life by now.)
  • Despite technology supposedly being value-neutral and a force that is somehow happening rather than being directed, the changes being pushed always seem towards the casualization of the workforce, the corporatization of education's goals, the deskilling of professions, and the lessening of any push towards deep critical thought and engagement with the possibilities of learning in our educational system. It's almost as if the people writing these things have a worldview and are using technological threats to push that worldview. Or as if they are so wedded to their worldview that they have started seeing it as an inherent part of the tools they are using to push it and are unable to look beyond and see the assumptions they are making. - kristi-thompson kristi-thompson Nov 13, 2016

Embedding Academic and Research Libraries in the Curriculum
While libraries have always supported academic institutions, there is a mounting case that librarians should play a more critical role in the development of information literacy skills. Historically, these types of programs have been implemented in “one-off” segments, which are experienced apart from a student’s normal studies and often delivered in a one-size-fits-all method. However, an increasing number of academic libraries are supporting a more integrated approach that delivers continuous skill development and assessment over time to both students and faculty. This requires deeper involvement with departments and agreeing on common definitions of what capacities should be achieved, and the most effective pedagogical method. Librarians are tasked with broadening their role in the co-design of curriculum and improving their instruction techniques to work alongside faculty toward the common goal of training students to be savvy digital researchers.
  • ACRL framework offers new strategy for addressing the literacy challenge, but migrating decades old pedagogical strategies to this more conceptual framework will be challenging and is meeting resistance in some sectors. - wlougee wlougee Nov 4, 2016
  • At my institution and others, we have been doing this through true embedded roles--librarians on curriculum committees, librarians as faculty in a program (I'm the assistant director of international/global studies). These relationships have worked well but they are time consuming and not all librarians arrive in their job with the skill set/education to play these roles. So, it isn't just about meeting resistance, but also figuring out with/in which departments you might have the most impact. - lyndamk lyndamk Nov 4, 2016
  • I would agree with the comment above that this is a common practice though by no means universal, but it continues to be a challenge to achieve campuswide integration of the library throughout the curriculum. Many librarians have a role on the curriculum committee and there are requirements or expectations that faculty will be integrating information literacy or research skill building into their courses. Librarians continue to meet faculty resistance to this type of integration or collaboration and instructional designers do not make library integration a key aspect of course redesign projects (or design for online learning). So this is going to continue to be a challenge over the next five years but one that we can solve and improve on.- bells bells Nov 10, 2016
  • This challenge is tied to a combination of (or lack of) institutional policies and the soft skill of relationship building. Outside of institutional mandates, strong and trusting collaborations between faculty and librarians tend to be a case-by-case basis and they preferably follow the principles of Design Thinking (always experimenting and evolving). Additionally, there is rarely a universal or consistent measure or understanding of what students will get out of librarian involvement in a class. This challenge has the potential of existing indefinitely.- tchaffin tchaffin Nov 11, 2016
  • At Leiden University we experience a growing need for the development of data management stewardship in the curriculum. The library is asked to play a significant role in these courses. There is also a starting need for software and data carpentry in the curriculum. A difficult challenge due to the fact that ICT skills are not the core skills of most libraries. - Laurents.Sesink Laurents.Sesink Nov 13, 2016
  • - liusq liusq Nov 13, 2016Our librarians have tried to embedded into curriculums and work together with faculty, the response from students are pretty good. However, it is challenging and much time-consuming compared with traditional library workshop. Because classes are designed totally from the faculty's perspectives and you need to organzie your materials according to their needs. This challenge is solvable.

Embracing the Need for Radical Change
Academic and research libraries are facing ongoing leadership issues that impact every aspect of their facilities and offerings, including updating staffing models and addressing a lack of financial resources. Compounding this challenge is the need to adapt to the rapidly evolving landscape of technology and to understand its impact on patron behaviors. Once patron needs have been identified, libraries are tasked with revising or building new infrastructure to support more effective research practices, yet the change in focus on integrating innovations seems to be at odds with traditional modes of thought that govern academic and research libraries. Library leadership will require radically different thinking to provide adequate and sustainable support for new initiatives and business models. In order to be effective, this type of thinking will need to extend across the entire organization from the top down — from deans and directors to librarians, support staff, and new hires. - franziska.regner franziska.regner Nov 2, 2016 - SueH SueH Nov 2, 2016 - rudolf.mumenthaler rudolf.mumenthaler Nov 13, 2016 - vacekrae vacekrae Nov 13, 2016
  • My institution is currently rethinking how library service offerings can be explained to the campus community. Leadership has settled on the use of the concepts of traditional and emerging services when describing our offerings to faculty and administrators. These two areas (in most libraries) are in a tug-of-war for resources. "Supporting new directions" where scholarship and academic technology intersect in the libraries would be another way of stating this challenge. This issue will require very thoughtful and skilled administrators. - tchaffin tchaffin Nov 11, 2016
  • I like the idea of having a leadership topic, and this is one that is solvable. The challenge is to have a clear vision of what that radical change is - on the local, regional, national and global levels. What exactly is the radical change and how will the library leader obtain staff support to make it happen? There are good examples of incremental and evolutionary change, but revolutionary change is rare.- bells bells Nov 12, 2016
  • Libraries are traditionally governed by administrative oriented leaders (avoiding risk, delivery of trusted and reliable services) while there is a need for more adaptive leadership where risk taking is a crucial aspect to keep up with the innovation which is necessary while the delivery of reliable services is still needed. A difficult challenge because it is a change of culture starting with senior management. - Laurents.Sesink Laurents.Sesink Nov 13, 2016
  • Though we cannot completely stop what we have been doing, almost all of the new growth for libraries has to be geared toward digital resources (acquiring, selecting, preserving, etc.). The radical change, which we are only just beginning to adapt to, is developing the skills to navigate and manage the abundant.- anthony.helm anthony.helm Nov 14, 2016
  • Organising Disruption - See e.g. talks in the Disruptive Innovation Festival 16: https://www.thinkdif.co/open-mic/organising-for-disruption

Enhancing Accessibility to Library Services and Resources
Libraries need to become more adept at and focused on catering to disabled patrons. The use of assistive technology as a way of fostering access to library services and resources among those with disabilities is not new, but the possibility of adapting newer forms of technology (e.g., wearable technology, 3D printing, and mobile devices) into the assistive technology landscape seems to be in the early stages of development.
Is anyone looking into drones for delivering print or other physical materials? - bryan.alexander bryan.alexander Oct 17, 2016
  • We have a significant accessibility effort underway - which is has been for the last 2-3 years. Initially we focused on accessible websites, research guides and computing/training facilities. That continues, but there is more pressure to acquire resources that are already accessible or are on the way to being accessible. We literally cannot purchase hardware or software without assurances from vendors (often in the way of a VPAT) that the products are tested for accessibility. This extends beyond traditional database products to include any free software we might adopt and to both user and staff interfaces. So we anticipate spending more time and effort on this, but we believe it is a worthwhile endeavor to have a library that is committed to universal design for learning.- bells bells Nov 10, 2016 Agree that these are necessary and very manageble problems to solve.- mheller1 mheller1 Nov 10, 2016 - rudolf.mumenthaler rudolf.mumenthaler Nov 13, 2016
  • I see many libraries creating diversity, equity, inclusion, and accessibility plans and or committees, or at least integrating them into library values or in strategic plans. This is a good thing. - vacekrae vacekrae Nov 13, 2016
  • Libraries should be creating spaces, services, and sites for all at all times, and not thinking about accessibility as an afterthought, or that it's a problem to solve. Inclusivity isn’t an obstacle to overcome, and libraries need to understand that the average student includes the needs of multimodal, intersectional students. Libraries are starting to see the value in hiring (or outsourcing) more designers to help them think more about universal design, ability-based design, and value-sensitive design. - vacekrae vacekrae Nov 13, 2016
    • Well said - it isn't an add-on problem, but a base requirement. However, until vendors, web developers and standards organizations, and even architects catch up, true inclusivity will continue to require creative thinking and planning, and the occasional ad-hoc kludge solution. One challenge is to continually be aware that the patron with the need isn't the problem, but the poor design getting in their way. - kristi-thompson kristi-thompson Nov 14, 2016

Finding a Place for Privacy
Libraries place a great deal of importance on user privacy and confidentiality. How this is enacted varies across the world but in places where it is seen as an absolute it can hamper assessment, customization, and service development. The protest of "but privacy!" isn't any more helpful than "no one care about that any more!" Finding a place for privacy in our interconnected world while also ensuring robust services (an equally important library value) is key.
  • This is difficult, and perhaps impossible to solve in a way that makes everyone happy. But I think many in the United States are very wary just now of potential implications for researchers and students in the coming years, even if they weren't previously.- mheller1 mheller1 Nov 10, 2016
  • This is solvable if we are able to achieve balance and compromise with a growing force for capturing and manipulating student data grows in higher education - because there is evidence this helps student retention and graduation. With higher ed under pressure to improve retention and graduations rate, there will be growing pressure on academic libraries to provide and use student data.- bells bells Nov 12, 2016

Impact of In-House Research on Library Innovation
...and the Customer Orientation of Libraries "In the future, libraries will not only support research with scientific literature; to a considerable degree they will actively and creatively carry out research of their own – both at the national and international level. Research will take place within the disciplines of applied computer science, in particular media informatics, and information sciences. With this research, libraries aim to continually provide their online services in close cooperation with their customer groups and at a high level of innovation. Libraries will thus become equal partners in the research community and as a part thereof can meet the continuous change in research on equal footing. Thus, libraries will be able to adjust their services in literature provision even better to customer requirements." - franziska.regner franziska.regner Nov 2, 2016
  • A shift to evidence based librarianship is needed. What we do in libraries should rely more on knowledge and less on assumptions. - rudolf.mumenthaler rudolf.mumenthaler Nov 13, 2016
  • The first data archives started somewhere in 1960 where they paved the way for what is now considered as a crucial part of research: research datamanagement. Most data archives where involved in research to investigate best practices, standards, policies, tools, and methodologies. This might be the basis why data archives still play a role in the developments of research infrastructures, policies, tools, methodologies and are doing research on their own. Data science is being build on top of these early achievements. Libraries are reluctant in carry out research of their own. Libraries are good in asking the right questions but lack to resources to answer these questions themselves. - Laurents.Sesink Laurents.Sesink Nov 13, 2016 I think that some libraries (bigger ARLs) have the resources to investigate and answer these questions. - vacekrae vacekrae Nov 13, 2016- liusq liusq Nov 13, 2016Agree.- bells bells Nov 14, 2016

Improving Digital Literacy
With the proliferation of the Internet, mobile devices, and other technologies that are now pervasive in learning, the traditional view of literacy as the ability to read and write has expanded to encompass understanding digital tools and networked information. Lack of consensus on what comprises digital literacy is impeding many libraries from formulating adequate policies and programs that address the development of this competence for professional staff. Discussions among leaders have included the idea of digital literacy as being fluent with a wide range of digital tools for varied educational purposes, or as an indicator of having the ability to critically evaluate resources available on the web. However, both definitions are broad and daunting for libraries to address. Supporting digital literacy will require programs that both address digital fluency training in librarians, along with the faculty and students they support on campus. - SueH SueH Nov 2, 2016 - bryan.alexander bryan.alexander Nov 10, 2016 - g.payne g.payne Nov 10, 2016
  • I would argue that "Life Literacies" is a more appropriate term. Perhaps we are discussing two things here: librarian's skills for doing their work AND student's needs for certain literacies to be successful at school, at work, and in life. The Lifelong learning study from Project Information Literacy looked at recent grads. The large majority said it was hard to find the time for continued learning (88%) and staying on top of everything they thought they needed to know (70%). At the same time, half (50%) of the sample was frustrated by no longer having access to academic library databases…and to college professors and their lectures. Maybe the part of this challenge related to librarian skill sets goes in the Skills challenge below. And this one "Improving Digital (Life?) Literacies" stays here. (PIL Lifelong Learning [[user:mstephens7|1478891791]- bells bells Nov 14, 2016- anthony.helm anthony.helm Nov 14, 2016
  • - liusq liusq Nov 13, 2016Digital literacy is a very broad concept, and it challenges librarian's skills. Librarians need to improve their digital literacy fisrt, then train the users. It is solvable challenge.

Maintaining Ongoing Integration, Interoperability, and Collaborative Projects
Research institutions have become more reliant on creating strong partnerships with other institutions to enhance their visibility and reinforce their standings in order to earn funding from agencies that are setting the bar higher and higher. As a result, producing quality research and quantifying outputs has never been more important; however, the existing infrastructure for publication and dissemination often weighs down researchers with time-consuming administrative tasks. To make this process more efficient, interoperability has become a key issue for many academic and research libraries. Interoperability, in this context, is the ability to make research systems work together so that scientific knowledge and data can be exchanged seamlessly across institutions, sectors, and disciplines. The ultimate goal is to make it easier for institutions to share their findings with funding agencies and other stakeholders.

Managing Knowledge Obsolescence
Simply staying organized and current presents a challenge to academic and research libraries in a world where information, software tools, and devices advance at a strenuous rate. New developments in technology are presenting exciting opportunities for libraries, and their potential for improving the quality of operations and services is undeniable. However, it can be overwhelming for library staff to keep up with the ever-changing landscape; just as they are able to master one technology, it seems a new version launches. An explosion of user-created content is also giving rise to ideas and opinions on a multitude of topics, but following the hundreds of available authorities means sifting through a mountain of information more frequently than most library staff can manage. There is a need for effective tools and filters for finding, interpreting, organizing, and retrieving the data that is the most relevant and insightful. Additionally, societal changes and financial pressures are transforming the work of academic and research librarians, requiring greater agility and a constant pursuit of absorbing new technologies and skills.

Marketing/Promoting Library Services
Libraries can talk about new services, expanding resources, and digital publishing, but if the campus community does not know about them and what libraries are doing, then they have missed the point. While this topic is connected to the BYOD issues, library apps for single platforms, silos of information and resources access, it is a fundamental flaw in how people think about the role of libraries and librarians. How many library professionals think about truly marketing ourselves or our services? How often do they come up with a great program idea, spend a ton of time developing that idea and either cannot get money from administration to use for marketing or just have a few lines about posting the event on the campus calendar, sending announcements to a listserv or making a poster (which may or may not be pretty enough to be noticed). Libraries are changing/have changed, but do library users know this and how can it be better communicated to them? - franziska.regner franziska.regner Nov 2, 2016 - tchaffin tchaffin Nov 11, 2016
  • This is an ongoing challenge for academic librarians. Too often we hear community members asking for services that we already offer to them. I don't know that this is something I would view as a problem that we need to solve, but rather I look at it as part of the ongoing work that library staff perform, whether they are serving as an administrator, a subject specialist, access services worker or student worker. Each of us need to be a part of a promotion culture where we are always looking for opportunities to connect the library with campus events and programs, services, etc. so that the library is visible to every campus constituent. Programming, coming up with innovative services that can offer creative solutions to whatever it is that community members need to do a job - those are services we can market it useful ways.- bells bells Nov 12, 2016
  • - liusq liusq Nov 13, 2016In oder to attact users, libraries have to find ways to promote services and resources to users as effectively as possible. Promotioanl approaches are solvable challenge in this digital age, especially academic libraries are no longer the only choice for users.

Rethinking the Roles and Skills of Librarians
The influx of data and digital resources involved in learning and research are challenging the capabilities of libraries. It is no longer enough for librarians to manage the flow and organization of print materials; ALA reports that academic libraries are hiring professionals with experience in emerging 21st century skills such as data mining and web development.Campus libraries are also uniquely situated to provide technological and instructional support for faculty and students as technology advances. Many libraries are in the midst of rearranging their organizations, resulting in the creation of new departments, positions, and responsibilities for library professionals. Indeed, more than half the advertised positions in recent years have been for newly created or significantly redefined roles. There is a clear hiring trend that emphasizes finding more functional specialists that have a strong digital or technology background. The challenge is in building capacity for these new specialized roles and providing sufficient training along the way. - franziska.regner franziska.regner Nov 2, 2016 - andreas.kirstein andreas.kirstein Nov 10, 2016 - Laurents.Sesink Laurents.Sesink Nov 13, 2016
  • Interesting report by CLIR about Centers of Excellence and Network Models. CLIR ReportSeeing evidence of this model (e.g., Big Ten Academic Alliance Geoportal project, Data Curation Network project). - wlougee wlougee Nov 4, 2016
  • Over the next five years we will see more reorganizations that involve fewer traditional clerical positions, more technical positions in the library technology support area, having subject specialists doing more consultation and personalized services to students and faculty (and less time spent on service desks), staff that currently do mostly transactional work being redeployed for public engagement and certainly more non-MLS professionals.These shifts from traditional roles to those that are based on a more proactive and personalized service orientation will need rethinking and professional development.- bells bells Nov 10, 2016
  • I've been arguing for years that we need to focus on how to attract science, engineering, and especially computer science graduates into libraries. They have been trained with the habits of mind and skills that are vital to the future of our field. One of the big challenges we see is being able to compete on salary terms. I believe our CS graduates have an average starting salary well into 6 figures.- cmkeithw cmkeithw Nov 11, 2016- bells bells Nov 14, 2016
  • Yes, definitely important to broaden the funnel of people we are attracting to the field. It is challenging to change the general population's thinking about what our field is - but definitely important and something we need to keep working on doing! - Sandy.hirsh Sandy.hirsh Nov 13, 2016
  • Recruitment in these areas also commonly ranges outside of the library science masters degree field and into specialized fields (instructional design, statistics, etc), and the salaries and recruitment associated with these positions can be challenging or imbalancing in comparison to traditional roles. - tchaffin tchaffin Nov 11, 2016
  • Salary is one thing, maybe of equal importance is culture. Most libraries are not used to run software development teams but have a culture to buy solutions and concentrate on the functional management of the services. Getting in ICT skills brings also in a new culture. A change of culture is always difficult. - Laurents.Sesink Laurents.Sesink Nov 13, 2016
  • There is a need for LIS professionals to generate new knowledge in the form of research and to be supported in the endeavor. I have played a part in an immersive learning experience—the Institute for Research Design in Librarianship (IRDL) - at Loyola Marymount. My colleague from the School of Information, Dr. Lili Luo, and Greg Guest, a cultural anthropologist, designed the research skills–focused curriculum and served as lead instructors for the Institute of Museum and Library Services (IMLS)–funded program. For nine days in the summer the selected participants, IRDL Scholars, live and breathe all aspects of generating new knowledge for the profession.This prepares them for active partnering with other librarians, faculty and students to pursue research projects. The "sufficient training" mentioned above in many cases does not include methodologies, etc. More here: http://lj.libraryjournal.com/2016/08/opinion/michael-stephens/the-research-journey-office-hours/ - mstephens7 mstephens7 Nov 13, 2016 - sandore sandore Nov 13, 2016 - vacekrae vacekrae Nov 13, 2016- bells bells Nov 14, 2016
  • - liusq liusq Nov 13, 2016New digital environment and dynamic users challenge the capabilites of librarians, we need to keep learning. This is solvable change.
  • Reimagining the library (librarian?) - I'm often struck by how deep-seated is the public perception that libraries (and librarians) are all about books. Of course books remain important, but for most in the education and research sectors, they are not our raison d'etre. We need a concerted and sustained means of positioning ourselves and our colleagues as specialists in the information aspects of the research lifecycle,- cmkeithw cmkeithw Nov 11, 2016 This is incredibly important and rises above many of the challenges above to the core challenge - mstephens7 mstephens7 Nov 12, 2016 - rudolf.mumenthaler rudolf.mumenthaler Nov 13, 2016- vacekrae vacekrae Nov 13, 2016- liusq liusq Nov 13, 2016
  • Cannot agree strongly enough that changing this perception on our campuses is a pressing and urgent challenge. We are not getting through to many key decision makers. - askeyd askeyd Nov 11, 2016 - mstephens7 mstephens7 Nov 12, 2016 - erik.stattin erik.stattin Nov 13, 2016- vacekrae vacekrae Nov 13, 2016
  • One of my mantras - let's stop being gatekeepers and start being gate openers. Gate keeper harkens back to our traditional role as content provider. Yes, that will continue to be critical to the development of the library but we need to reimagine the library and librarians as relationship builders to help their community members to solve their information challenges (libraries as the solutions place?}- bells bells Nov 13, 2016
  • Learning in the warehouse has evolved to collaboration, experience and engagement. - mstephens7 mstephens7 Nov 13, 2016


Combined with Existing RQ1 Developments in Technology


Digital preservation
Long term digital preservation of collections and user created content (eg. comments on blogs) present huge challenges to libraries. So much public discourse takes place in these online spaces and researchers and historians will need access to the "whole" conversation. - mylee.joseph mylee.joseph Nov 10, 2016
  • I'm glad you scoped this to the need to discuss this with historians and other researchers, since digital preservation is, in a technical sense, a solved or at least solvable problem these days. Narrower the scope even a bit further, I think we are about to enter a critical phase related to the concept of 'presentism' in history, i.e.- the notion that one cannot 'do' history on current events, but that a certain period of time must pass before it becomes a research-worthy topic. We are now entering a phase where even under this notion, the early Web are now qualifies for historical study, but historians are going to have serious issues accessing the record of that time since so much was online and ephemeral. Web archiving is a challenge--not technical, for the most part--that we are just beginning to address seriously in libraries. - askeyd askeyd Nov 11, 2016 - rudolf.mumenthaler rudolf.mumenthaler Nov 13, 2016- vacekrae vacekrae Nov 13, 2016
  • Libraries have over hundreds years of experience in acquiring, cataloguing and making available archives of university professors, correspondence, lecture notes, dissertations, etcetera, mostly written and printed on paper. The digital turn however, forces us to rethink our strategies, not only to meet our longstanding obligations to the research community but also to venture into new possibilities for collaboration. The preservation of academic heritage is nog only related to research information, publications and research data. It is also about websites, e-mails and social media.In order to adequately cope with this born digital material, we need to formulate policy, create an infrastructure and offer training and support. A difficult challenge - Laurents.Sesink Laurents.Sesink Nov 13, 2016
  • - liusq liusq Nov 13, 2016Digital preservation of print collections have been concerend for a while, Other network-based resources should be considered too, but it is hard to decide dimensions of preservation because network-based resources are too many. [Editors' Note: More great points on this topic! This fits in naturally with the existing RQ1 topic "Preservation and Conservation Technologies" and will be added to that discussion accordingly.]

Combined with Existing RQ3 Trends


(Innovation) Strategies
Strategy building for libraries is a key challenge in times of dynamic changes. - franziska.regner franziska.regner Nov 11, 2016
  • Brian Matthews has written some inspired pieces on innovation. Libraries face the challenge of understanding how to actualize philosophical concepts on innovation and leverage specific team structures that separately focus on innovative services and sustaining services. - tchaffin tchaffin Nov 11, 2016 And how do we manage innovation and encourage it? This is part of the Creative Classroom model for learning and I believe it applies well here. This one and the one below strike deep chords with me and go beyond some of the more typical above. - mstephens7 mstephens7 Nov 12, 2016- vacekrae vacekrae Nov 13, 2016
  • Project management is a key competence in libraries. Innovation management is new but necessary to think about and build strategies to deal with continues change. - Laurents.Sesink Laurents.Sesink Nov 13, 2016
  • Libraries' ability both to innovate, and to simply look at challenges from different perspectives and to partner with other professions, are critical to libraries moving forward successfully in the next decade. In his recent book Ron Jantz focuses on creativity and innovation models and strategies for research libraries:
  • Ronald C. Jantz. Managing Creativity: The Innovative Research Library. Chicago: Association of College and Research Libraries, 2016 (Publications in Librarianship; no. 70). 185p. College & Research Libraries recently reviewed the book http://crl.acrl.org/content/77/5/669.full.pdf. - sandore sandore Nov 13, 2016
  • - liusq liusq Nov 13, 2016Strategy building come first before all libary operations. Solvable challenge.
[Editor's Note: While there are always challenges inherent in innovation, this fits in best with existing RQ3 Trend "Advancing Cultures of Innovation" and will be added to that discussion.]

Other Key Insights


Making use of co-creation
There is the challenge to adopt to co-creation opportunities. Many libraries still work in traditional ways with traditional offices. This might be an obstacle to innovation in the long-term. - franziska.regner franziska.regner Nov 2, 2016